Sunday, 11 December 2016

Łódź Fabryczna finally opens

Today, Sunday 11 December, is a big day on Poland's (and indeed Europe's) railways, as it's the day the railway timetables change; it's a deadline for major infrastructural works. Here in Jeziorki, the 'up' platform (Peron 2) saw the first train stop there just before five am. In Łódź, however, a much bigger event took place today, the opening of Fabryczna station, over five years after it was closed for redevelopment. And in Switzerland, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest rail tunnel at over 57km, opened for full service today too.

Back to Łódź. This has been a massive engineering project; not only was the station redeveloped but the railway line which terminated here has been relaid underground and will be stretched right across the city underground to connect with the north-south line on the east side of Łódź, north of Łódź Kaliska station. This will happen some time after 2022, so don't hold your breath.

But in the meantime, let's at least celebrate the opening of the new Łódź Fabryczna, five years and two months after the old one was closed. And it was due to have opened in October 2014.

All photos courtesy of Moni. Below: folk musicians and crowds; a big day for Łódź - after 62 months, the city centre is finally connected to the outside world by rail.

This architectural conceit (below) reminds me of Piaseczno's Fashion House factory outlet or the Bicester shopping village; faux facades in a modern setting.

Below: Looks familiar? The station layout is similar to that of Warszawa Centralna; four platforms each serving two tracks (eight platforms in British railway parlance). The railway lines are 16m beneath street level, and for the time being anyway terminate here.

Below: Dzień dobry bo w Łodzi - 'Good day because (it's) in Łódź' - lovely mural in the style of Pan Tu Nie Stał, legendary fashion and accessory shop from Łódź (now with branches in Warsaw and Kraków)

A huge step forward compared to the old Łódź Fabryczna station, run-down and grimy.  A railway station that befits a city the size and national importance of Łódź. The concourse is fit for purpose.

Journey times from here to Warsaw are now below 1 hr 20 mins for the fastest services, an improvement of the two hours of yore, but given that the distance is exactly the same as London Euston to Rugby (83 miles, 135km), it's worth noting that the fastest time between the two stations is 48 minutes.

Below: Emerging into the dreary daylight, the scene outside the new station is similar to what befell the eyes of the traveller arriving at the old station.

Below: view from the north side of the station; on the other side, the EC1 Nowe Centrum Łódź (New Centre of Łódź) development. From here, it's a seven-minute, 550m walk to the flat I bought my daughter last year. A good investment, I think!

This time two years ago:
Pluses and minuses of PKP

This time three years ago:
When transportation breaks down

This time five years ago:
Take me back to Tulsa

This time seven years ago:
Another book launch

This time eight years ago:
Jeziorki in the 16th Century

This time nine years ago:
Rotten weather, literally


DC said...

EK A380 to visit WAW as a one off, Feb 10.

Michael Dembinski said...

Hi DC,

Good news... and it's a Saturday!11:20 landing at Okęcie, 14:50 take-off, in daylight hours... All I can hope for now is clear skies, a north-westerly wind and a RWY33 landing!

DC said...

Hey Michael -

My next visit to Poland won't be until March so I will look forward to your pics.

We have 3 airlines with at least seasonal A380s at IAD. Still haven't managed to set foot on one - never seems to work out as a reasonable option. But Scatts has!

Alexander said...

Hi all,

The new Warsaw West station is also in use, at least some part.
I will miss the cheap magazine sellers. -))

About the new ᴌodz station

This German link has a good overall picture from a higher altitude, and a drawing of the railway lines as explaned here.,8027217

If the link does not work: Drehscheibe-online. DE, foren, Mittwoch

Best regards, Alexander